BOT says it may take several years before tourist numbers return to normal
The Bank of Thailand chief on Monday said that it could take several years for the country’s foreign tourism industry to recover as the economy continues to take a beating from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The central bank expects foreign visitors to reach the 8 million visitors for 2020, compared to the usual 40 million the country often sees every year. Thailand’s lucrative tourism industry accounts for 11.4% of the country’s GDP.
The central bank has forecasted Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy to contract by a record 8.1%, Governor Veerathai Santiprabhob told a seminar. The most worrying issue is employment, particularly in the service and manufacturing sector, Veerathai said.
The Baht recently traded at 31.78 per Dollar at 0540 GMT, falling to its lowest in more than seven weeks, as capital outflows on economic and political concerns kept the currency volatile.
However, Veerathai said that fund outflows are not a worry as the country’s external positions remain strong, with current account surpluses and low foreign debt.
He also said bad loans in the country would increase inevitably but new measure could prevent them from surging.